Category Archives: Guest Blogger

Roedde House 1910-2010 Vintage fashion Shoot by guest blogger, Beverley McEwan



Take a fabulous photographer, a wondrous collection of turn of the century fashions, a motivated “A” team and a grateful impresario; add one of Vancouver’s best-kept secrets and mix. The result is “Vancouver’s Roedde House 1910-2010”: a stunning series of photos of Edwardian gowns photographed by Jonathan Cruz, during an incredible day at in Barclay Square that resulted in even more incredible photos.

 The day was one I will never forget: magical, with everyone wanting to make the gowns, the house, the shoot, nothing but perfect.  It began with us on deck at Jonathan’s studio at 7:30 AM, where Myles was at work with Tia’s hair and wigs, David was setting up, Sofia was being enchanting while Maureen and Annalissa watched. Jonathan took pictures of Eric Hamber’s design students, everyone was smiling and the day continued from there, as we moved to Roedde House and enlivened it for hours as Jonathan took shot after shot of Tia. Beginning  in a spectacular collection wedding gown, complete with dozens of hand-sewn pearls  and ending  with at the piano in a  flapper era dress, while David Wilkes  and Myles Lepham, who had been working non-stop to make all of this possible, watched from the sidelines.

 “Magical” does not begin to describe the day for me.  I was-and continue to be-knocked out by the generous donation that Jonathan made by making the day possible, his invitation to Myles and David to join him in donating their day…and everyone’s willingness to do so.  Tia, who posed endlessly with grace and poise, also gave her time as a professional model and I couldn’t imagine anyone else in the collection’s dresses.

 Jonathan, whose energy equals his talent, turned my request for “ a few photos, please” into an event that saw a community of Vancouver’s talent, including Jonathan, model Tia Spowart, hair artist Myles Lepham and stylist David Wilkes combine to donate their time and professional skills to this shoot, done on site at the 1893-constructed home of Gustav and Mathilde Roedde.  Attributed to Francis Rattenbury (the architect of the BC Legislative Buildings, the Empress Hotel and Vancouver Art Gallery), Roedde House is a restored and furnished house museum, one of the finest of its kind anywhere in Canada.  My task was to write a handbook for area secondary school teachers that would somehow “lure “them into visiting the house and bringing their teenaged charges with them.  The” mission” evolved slowly until I visited Eric Hamber’s fashion design program, where the students design vintage dresses, and where student Daisy Leung was named to represent Canada at a world skills competition.  That visit, seeing Jonathan’s stunning photograph of Chloe at the CNIS gala and discovering the boxed vintage gowns tucked carefully away in Roedde House led to my request for a few photos.

 As the “impresario” writing Vancouver 1910-2010: A Roedde House Handbook, I am totally knocked out by what a community coming together can do.
Thank you , Jonathan and “A Team” for a unforgettable day. (Thanks also to Gabriela and Dan Ax , Avocado Films).

  The pictures speak for themselves. 


Beverley McEwan
Presentations Canada


Filed under 1, Guest Blogger, Photography by Jonathan Cruz

Breakfast with Carol Hyunh by guest blogger: Oribu Yokota


Tito J (aka Jonathan Cruz) and I quickly became good friends after being introduced by a very special lady, Gaile Guevara (aka JC’s cousin). They both amaze me and inspire me in ways they could never imagine.  Tito J very quickly invited me into his home and studio to meet his two angels, Gabriella (his wife) and Sofia (his baby girl).  

I fell in love with the Cruz’s so quickly that it truly made me see things in a different perspective. Long story short, having experienced September 11th, 2001 a few blocks away from Ground Zero, I became a very closed and shy person, having extreme difficulty with letting go of fear and seeing the truth and good in people around me. Moving back to Vancouver in 2008 and meeting what I now call my “Gastown Family” was the BEST healing experience I have ever had, and it still heals me to this day in different aspects of my life. I never saw Tito J as the amazing photographer that catches the true essence of everyone he shoots, but he asked me if I wanted to do a shoot, so of course I said yes.  To me, it was a fun day of laughs and hopefully good eats with a crazy long haired buddy that never sleeps.  When he told me the subject, I was extremely excited to meet her. A true hero with a shining personality, inspiration to all,  the beautiful and passionate Carol Huynh.  She grappled Canada to a gold medal in the Beijing Olympics in 2008, and the tears she shed while the Canadian anthem was playing, to this day gives me the shivers. 


We started pretty early in the morning so we made breakfast.  A spread of bacon cooked crispy, medium, and soft, scrambled eggs, pastries, longanisa (if you haven’t tried these Filipino sausages, then you haven’t lived) etc etc etc… After the delectable meal, we went on to hair and makeup.  Let me tell you one thing about Carol. She glows. And when a woman glows from working hard and is skilled at what she loves to do, no matter how young or mature you are, you really don’t need much makeup. So, we gave her a little natural smokey eye to go with the stunning dresses lent to us by Manuel Mendoza.  Nothing too extravagant, as she mentioned she had sensitive skin and didn’t wear much makeup on a daily basis.  


Being a makeup artist, I get to stand in front of astonishing talent. You are pretty up close and personal and through conversation, you really get to know the person that is in your chair on a personal level.  She shared her stories about family, her husband, her future, on being the first woman ever to score a gold medal for Canada in wrestling, how she felt when she stood under the Canadian flag on that historical day, on how she feels about being a role model, and how excited she was to just go back home. You can see that she values the gift of strength, courage and perseverance her parents gave her and lives each day and each step without forgetting what she has. 

Coco Chanel once said that a woman should be two things, classy and fabulous. Carol is just that and then some. 

Thank you Tito J for having me as your guest blogger.  I love my Gastown Family. [ Gabby, Sofia, GG, Evan, Tony, Coco and Moko]



Filed under Guest Blogger, Photography by Jonathan Cruz

Gloria Macarenko, Guest blogger


I just had a memorable photo shoot with Jonathan Cruz.  People assume that it wouldn’t be a big deal for me because I spend an hour and a half every day in front of a tv camera anchoring the news, This is not the case.  I feel much more self-conscious being the subject of  a still photographer. 

I was paired up with Jonathan by Bob Mercer, the editor of Vancouver Lifestyles Magazine (VLM), for a piece entitled MY VANCOUVER.  It’s a brief look at my favorite things about the city, and my thoughts and concerns about Vancouver’s future.

I had met Jonathan a few years ago when he photographed me and others at the Women’s Media Golf Classic.  I must stress that I only golf once a year, but Jonathan’s shots made me look like a pro! We also teamed up for a fundraiser for Ja Pace, a beautiful young woman afflicted with a rare blood disorder, in need of a non-donor transplant only available in Rome.

I was impressed with the warmth and compassion demonstrated by Jonathan at the time.  He put together a gorgeous calendar of Ja and her salsa dancing friends that was sold to raise funds for her cause.  He also softly coaxed a generous donation out of Michael Buble. (actually, from what I understand, there was no need for coaxing… he just told Michael about Ja’s story and he was naturally compelled to contribute.) Jonathan has that effect on people.  He has a wonderful ability to put his subjects at ease and bring out the best in them.

That’s what made this most recent shoot so much fun.  I had chosen the Burrard St. Bridge and  “Go Fish” on the Seawall as two of my favorite places in Vancouver.  We walked along the bridge on a cool, sunny fall day… chatting and trying not to get too ‘posy’ with the shots.  It was fun and easy and I often forgot he even had a camera in his hands.

From there, a yummy lunch (halibut and chips and spicy Salmon taquitos) at Go Fish.  Again, I was oblivious to the camera.

It was a totally win-win day.  I got to spend the afternoon with a wonderful man with a big heart, and I was thrilled with the photographs.  Thank you Jonathan!





Filed under Celebrity, Guest Blogger, Photography by Jonathan Cruz